GOP = Guns Over People
The Issue: As Governor, Sununu has carried out one of the most extreme gun agendas in the country and has made New Hampshire’s gun laws the weakest in New England.
On June 24, 2022, Governor Sununu signed HB1178, a dangerous, extremist bill prohibiting New Hampshire from enforcing federal firearms laws and regulations and barring NH law enforcement from assisting federal agencies like ATF and FBI with such enforcement. Sununu’s law could stop common-sense gun restrictions such as the federal prohibition of bump stocks, used to kill 59 people in Las Vegas in 2017, and ghost guns, firearms sold online in kit form with no serial number.
Sununu chose NRA extremism and gunmaker profits over the safety of New Hampshire’s children and citizens. Sununu’s extreme gun positions put Granite Staters in harm's way. New Hampshire deserves a leader who will put their safety over his own political gain.
Vote for Democrats! We believe in:
Passing common-sense gun safety laws supported by the majority of gun owners.
Keeping firearms in the hands of responsible gun owners and out of schools as part of our Granite State values.
Sununu Flip Flops and Puts Granite Staters at Risk
HB1178 leaves our schools and communities dangerously vulnerable and increases the risk of tragedy, due to major gaps between federal and state firearms laws, including those around gun-free schools and domestic violence protections.
New Hampshire has significant gaps between federal and state law around firearms in K-12 schools. The federal Gun Free Schools Act prohibits students from bringing firearms into schools, and the federal Gun Free Schools Zone Act prohibits all other persons from bringing firearms within 1,000 feet of school property unless they are licensed by the state to carry a firearm. New Hampshire law, unlike federal law, has no state law around gun free schools; current state law only applies to the portion pertaining to students, and is silent on guns in elementary, middle, and high schools by others. HB1178 puts into state law a prohibition on local police departments and school officials from enforcing or even cooperating with any federal firearms law that is not in New Hampshire state law – including gun free schools. That's not workable nor responsible. It is dangerous for everyone.
HB1178 also sends a troubling message to criminals that New Hampshire does not enforce federal public safety laws. Even responsible gun owners are at risk, since HB1178 creates confusion over which laws apply in our state and how they will be enforced.
With the passage of HB1178, New Hampshire stands to lose out on millions in grant dollars to help address mental health, school safety, firearms trafficking, drug and human trafficking, and other initiatives from the federal government, all because Republicans want to advance an extremist agenda with no regard for Granite Staters' safety.
HB195 was signed into law by Governor Sununu in September 2021, removing the brandishing of a firearm from the reckless conduct statute. The presence of a firearm in a school, in the absence of gun free schools or the reckless conduct law, does not constitute a state violation unless it is a pupil. Consequently, it is now perfectly legal for someone in an elevated conversation with a teacher, guidance counselor, sports coach or administrator to gesture to a firearm in their holster, unnecessarily escalating conflict with no recourse.
Read more about how this new law, HB1178, could interfere with state law enforcement’s ability to keep our communities safe here: https://newhampshirebulletin.com/briefs/county-sheriffs-seek-clarity-on-new-state-law-barring-cooperation-with-federal-firearms-laws/
“Think about what happened in Uvalde, Texas, and what the community response has been around whether or not the police responded appropriately. HB 1178 would tie the hands of local law enforcement and school officials, preventing them from taking action up and until an active shooter situation. Does Governor Sununu really want police departments and school officials to stand down when someone brings a gun onto campus? Don’t we want to act quickly to make sure our children and our schools are safe? This isn’t a drill. Every day our schools have to deal with all sorts of problems, and someone bringing a firearm into them is one of them. We need law enforcement and school officials to have the tools they need to make sure our kids are protected.” - Andy Pelosi, Executive Director, The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus
“By exclaiming that New Hampshire will not enforce laws and policies to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals, Republicans have signaled to criminals that “NH is open for business” for illegal firearms trafficking and criminal activity…Gun violence is an American epidemic from which no state is immune. The tragic statistics tell the story that Republicans ignore: Gun deaths in New Hampshire have increased almost 40% since 2011 compared to a 33% increase nationwide. Tragically, too, gun suicides in New Hampshire have increased 61% compared to a 12% increase nationwide.” From an Op-Ed in the Concord Monitor by House Minority Leader David Cote and former Speaker Steve Shurtleff. Read the piece in its entirety here: Opinion: Why stronger gun laws would benefit NH
Other gun-related bills of note from the past legislative session:
Republican legislators, dominated by the radical right, are trying to push through extremist legislation in Concord. They have pushed for:
HB197 Expanding the right of deadly force to those with road rage.
HB1636 Recklessly allowing the carry of loaded weapons on snowmobiles. Signed into law by Sununu on 6/17/22.
HB307 Banning municipalities from regulating firearms on public land/property.
Republicans voted down these common sense bills sponsored by Democrata seeking to:
HB1668 Stop background check loopholes that would allow bad actors and domestic abusers to purchase firearms online, at gun shows, or from private sellers without a background check.
HB1151 Prevent the threatening display of deadly weapons at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, rally, vigil, or demonstration.
HB1096 Prevent the open carry and display of deadly weapons at polling places (often NH schools!).
During his time as Governor, Sununu has carried out one of the most extreme gun agendas in the country and has made New Hampshire’s gun laws the weakest in New England. At the same time, he has been cashing massive campaign checks from gun manufacturers. Learn More About Sununu’s Extreme Gun Positions
Gun Safety Resources:
Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.
The Violence Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center dedicated to reducing violence in society and using data and analysis to improve policy and practice.